Follow these steps to ensure better bales this season.
- Avoid cutting grass too low as mowers will pick up soil. This could lead to Listeriosis in the silage and subsequent animal health problems.
- A fast wilt (one night on the ground), where practical, will minimise rain damage and the risk of microbial development in the forage.
- To achieve a fast wilt, spread grass thinly on the ground as soon as possible after mowing. Prompt tedding is recommended.
- Using a chopper baler will reduce the number/cost of bales per acre. This will also speed up the baling operation.
- Using a quality brand of film wrap or net wrap will enable heavy bales to retain their shape and make for easier and quicker wrapping.
- Heavy wet bales need extra film (two more layers). This adds around 10pc to the overall silage costs, but will certainly pay dividends when it comes to quality of silage.
- Use a strong and tacky bale wrap film to wrap heavy wet bales - otherwise effluent may leak out or bales could split.
- Try to have a full tank of silage ahead of the baler. This will lead to a square shouldered bale that will keep its shape better.
- Do not stack heavy or wet bales more than two high, otherwise they lose shape and could burst. Protect bales from bird, small animal and vermin damage.
- Any damaged bale wrap film should be repaired promptly using suitable silage patches. These bales should be used before any clamp silage is opened.